OAKLAND -– There were no extracurricular tensions for most of Friday night in the A’s much hyped rematch against the Royals.
Edinson Volquez made sure there was little baseball drama either.
The right-hander stopped the A’s offense cold in a 5-2 Kansas City victory to open a three-game series at the Coliseum. It was a pretty uneventful night until the bottom of the ninth, when Royals reliever Franklin Morales hit A’s catcher Stephen Vogt with a 2-2 pitch in the right wrist area, it appeared. Vogt had to leave the game for a pinch runner, and the A’s rallied for a run to close the gap to three before Kansas City closer Greg Holland shut the door.
The Coliseum crowd let Morales hear it as he left after giving up Ben Zobrist’s RBI double. Until then, the home fans didn’t have much opportunity to unleash on the visitors.
The A’s came in averaging nearly seven runs over their past 11 games, but Volquez (8-4) was particularly stingy in the 200th start of his career. He fired seven innings of three-hit ball at the A’s, striking out three and walking one.
The Royals opened up a 4-0 lead against Jesse Hahn (5-6) by the third inning, and Volquez and three relievers made it stand.
Starting pitching report
Hahn hit a speed bump Friday after coming into the night with a 2.25 ERA over his previous six starts. He’d given up fewer homers per nine innings (0.32) than anyone in the American League, but the Royals took him deep twice. He surrendered nine hits over six innings, and though just three of his five runs were earned, the rookie wasn’t his sharpest.
Kendrys Morales broke a scoreless tie in the second, slicing a drive to the opposite field that cleared the wall just inside the left field foul pole. The Royals pushed three more across in the third, all with two outs. With runners on the corners, Lorenzo Cain bounced a single up the middle to score Alex Rios. Then Hahn’s defense abandoned him for a spell. Vogt let a pitch that was just off the strike zone bounce off his glove for a passed ball to move runners to second and third. Eric Hosmer followed with a run-scoring infield single to no-man’s land between first base and the mound. Ike Davis fielded the ball and flipped wildly to Hahn covering the bag, which allowed another run to score and make it 4-0.
With Kansas City up 4-1 in the sixth, Alex Gordon launched 2-0 pitch deep over the wall in center to pad the Royals’ lead.
The A’s held the Royals scoreless over the final three innings in relief of Hahn.
At the plate
The A’s cut into a 4-0 deficit on Sam Fuld’s RBI double in the third, but the offensive highlights were few and far between in this one.
In the field
The A’s have committed 14 errors over their last 12 games. That’s 73 in 76 games overall. They’ve been able to overcome a lot of them lately, but Davis’ miscue was costly Friday.
The announced turnout was 27,365.
C.J. Wilson may not like the Coliseum mound, but it suits Scott Kazmir (4-4, 2.70) just fine. The lefty leads the majors in home ERA at 1.27. He takes the ball Saturday at 1:05 p.m., opposed by Chris Young (6-3, 2.83).